How to Make French Good Luck Charm Dolls (Called Nenette & Rintintin)

Recently, we talked about the French good luck charm dolls called Nénette and Rintintin that are made out of yarn.  Here you can learn how to make them.



Some Yarn (including a piece of red or pink yarn for the mouth) 
5 inch piece of cardboard 
Yarn Needle
Black Embroidery Thread & Needle

1.  Wind yarn around a 5 inch piece of cardboard 50 times.

1 N&R

2.  Carefully take the yarn off the cardboard.  While keeping it in its “loop” form, tie it with a piece of yarn near the top.  Then tie another piece of yarn a little below the top.  This will eventually form the doll’s “hair” and “head”.

2 N&R

3.  Cut the top loop and the bottom loop to “free” the yarn.

3 N&R

4.  Take 7 or 8 strings of yarn from each side of the doll to make the arms.  Tie a piece of yarn around the middle of each “arm”. Cut off most of the yarn below where it was tied to make the “hands”.

Then tie a piece of yarn around the middle of the “body” (not too low down) to make the waist.

4 N&R

4 N&R

5 Rintintin

5. To make the boy doll Nénette, separate the bottom “clump” of yarn into two equal parts.  Then tie them near the bottom with a string of yarn to make each “leg”.

5 Rintintin

6.  To make the girl doll Rintintin, follow all of the directions above including making the legs in step 5.  Then cut off the outer pieces of yarn around the perimeter of each leg to make a skirt .  Make sure not to cut the inner yarn so the doll still has “legs”.

6 Nénette

6 Nénette

7.  To sew on the mouth use a big yarn needle.  Take red or pink yarn and pass the needle around twice to make the upper and lower lips.

To sew on the eyes, use a regular sewing needle with black thread to shape the eyes as shown in the photo below.




Enjoy making French lucky charm dolls!  You’ll be taking part in a tradition that’s nearly 100 years old.

-Mama Lisa

Many thanks to Monique Palomares who works with me on the French version of Mama Lisa’s World for sharing the photos and instructions for making these good luck yarn dolls.

This article was posted on Thursday, June 14th, 2012 at 8:59 pm and is filed under Arts and Crafts, Countries & Cultures, Customs and Traditions, Dolls, Folk Lore, France, French, Good Luck, Good Luck Charms, How to Make Yarn Dolls, Languages, Needlework, Nenette & Rintintin Yarn Dolls, Toys, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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